I feel like ABC is trying to sell Resurrection as this wholly new show that has some “minor similarities” with
Sundance’s The Returned. That is an outright lie and I feel duped – and I am mad about it. Here’s what I know… it’s not that different, and it dang sure isn’t better – not by a long shot. Resurrection, just like The Returned, is about people, long believed to be dead, returning to their loved ones, but not in a zombie, decaying-flesh, dragging-limbs kind of way. They wake up in a place far from their home and make their way back to their families with no memory of where they’ve been in the meantime, without aging a day. While the premise is endlessly interesting and should be able to sustain itself, the ABC series weighs itself down with clichés and stereotypes that we’ve seen a million times.
Because I’ve seen this show before, I was less distracted by how cool this show seems to be, and far more focused on how it actually is. Even though Frances Fisher and Kurtwood Smith lend respect to the project, it just didn’t capture the tone it was going for. That is to say, I wanted it to be much eerier and somber than it was, and far less melodramatic. Don’t get me wrong, though. I don’t mind the actual drama, and I love a show with a juicy set of secrets, but this show is not as coy as it should be for something with as much potential and is trying too hard to get us to buy in.
Omar Epps plays Marty Bellamy, a former cop that now works for Immigration. He is charged with the task of escorting the first of the returned, Jacob, back to his small town home after he wakes up in a rice paddy in China. Jacob has been dead for over thirty years, and he returns to stunned parents well in to their sixties. Jacob is the vehicle in which the audience learns that these previously-dead folks are, in fact, who they say they are, and there is a lot of talk about believing and miracles and such. Also, he is the first of [presumably] many that will resurface in the Missouri town of Arcadia.
While this show is a blatant rip-off of an already really great show, it’s not that terrible. However, aside from the super creepy and interesting premise it stole from The Returned, it will probably feel like a million other shows you have seen before. It has been watered down into a generic, network show, so it has very little imagination or surprise. It loads the already crowed plotline with extraneous details that distract the viewer and draw focus from the most important parts of the show. Can’t the show just explore this idea of returning dead people without inserting cryptic strangers or torrid extra-marital affairs? If you don’t mind participating in tired stereotypes of stoic, yet tortured characters suffering with unhealable wounds, or are able to overlook the clichéd freeze frame of a character’s intense surprise reaction, then you might enjoy this show. Otherwise, seek out the original. You’ll be glad you did.
A new episode airs tonight at 9 on ABC. Tweet me what you think about this show – ESPECIALLY if you have watched both; I would love to know how you are reconciling the two.